The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed they are expecting a younger brother or sister for their one-year-old son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.

A spokesperson for Prince Harry and Meghan said: “We can confirm that Archie is going to be a big brother. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to be expecting their second child.”

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The couple shared a black and white picture of themselves, sat under a tree with Harry resting his hand on Meghan’s head as she lay in his lap cradling her bump.

Misan Harriman, a friend of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the photographer who took the photo that accompanied their pregnancy announcement, tweeted: “Meg, I was there at your wedding to witness this love story begin, and my friend, I am honoured to capture it grow. Congratulations to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on this joyous news!”

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The new baby will be eighth in line to the throne. Harry retained his place in the line of succession despite him and Meghan stepping back as senior royals in January last year, and dropping the style of HRH. It means the Duke of York who was born second in line in 1960, will move down to ninth place.

After leaving royal life in a quest for personal and financial freedom, the Sussexes now live in Montecito in California. Their announcement follows Meghan’s disclosure in November of the devastation the couple experienced after she had a miscarriage last summer.

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Writing in the New York Times, she described the moment, as she was changing Archie’s nappy at their home, that she “dropped to the floor” in pain. She wrote: “I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.”

Addressing the stigma surrounding miscarriage, Meghan continued: “Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few.”

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Speculation that the duchess may be expecting a second child arose after she applied for and was granted a postponement of her privacy trial against the Mail on Sunday until the autumn for a “confidential” reason that was not disclosed.

In the end, any trial was averted when, on Thursday, the duchess won her high court privacy case against Associated Newspapers Ltd over the Mail on Sunday and Mail Online’s publication of extracts from a private handwritten letter she wrote to her estranged father, Thomas Markle, 76, after the judge, Lord Justice Warby, granted summary judgment in Meghan’s favour.

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